Eileen C. McDonnell, current president of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., has been named as successor to Robert E. Chappell, Penn Mutual’s CEO. The change, announced Thursday, will be effective on February 18, 2011.
Chappell will be retiring after holding the post for 16 years; he will remain as chairman of the board. In a statement, Chappell said of McDonnell, “In less than three years at Penn Mutual, Eileen’s presence as a leader of the company and within our industry has been exemplary. She is a dedicated advocate for the complete value of life insurance for American families, a forward thinker and committed to continuing to build momentum for Penn Mutual in the years ahead.”
A 23-year veteran in financial services, McDonnell joins a small cadre of women who hold CEO positions at major insurers. Formerly she was president of New England Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife, and senior vice president at Guardian Life Insurance Co. Previous experience also included a stint at AXA/Equitable and the chair for women and financial services at The American College.